February 18, 2001

Suspected guerrillas attack army helicopter, kill 1 soldier

                  AYACUCHO, Peru (AP) -- Suspected guerrillas attacked an army helicopter in
                  the jungle valley of Peru's Apurimac River, killing one soldier and leaving another
                  wounded, the army said Sunday.

                  The attack occurred Saturday near the Monopata military base in Ayacucho
                  province, 215 miles (350 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Lima.

                  The helicopter was approaching the base to deliver provisions when presumed
                  members of the now all but defeated Shining Path rebel group opened fire on the

                  The gunfire killed one soldier, Edgar Gutierrez, and wounded Army Lt. Waldo
                  Ruiz. The helicopter pilot was able to maneuver the aircraft away out of the
                  attack and return to another military base.

                  Army troops were patrolling the area Sunday in search of the assailants.

                  Ayacucho province was the epicenter of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency
                  during the 1980s and early 1990s. The rebel group's strength has diminished
                  significantly since the arrest of its leader Abimael Guzman in 1992.

                  Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.